No ‘imminent’ threat of China invading Taiwan

  • A senior U.S. defence official and the U.S. Army’s commanding officer in the Pacific have downplayed the possibility of China imminently attempting to invade Taiwan, citing the risks and complexity of such an operation.
  • U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Charles Flynn, commander of the U.S. Army Pacific, gave their assessment 27 Feb in a discussion on the Army’s role in the Indo-Pacific hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.
  • During the discussion, Flynn said China’s military had made “extraordinary” progress in recent years.
  • It has also developed a strategy to control access to its operating environment — known as an anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD strategy — focused on defeating air and maritime capabilities and on cyber operations, he said.
  • Despite these advances, Flynn argued that an invasion of Taiwan would be a complicated operation in which China could not solely rely on its H-6 bombers, ships and submarines. Instead, it would have to generate an invasion force that could cross the Taiwan Strait and then seize, hold, and consolidate gains in Taiwan, he said.
  • Wormuth said that in her view, an amphibious invasion of Taiwan is not “imminent,” though the U.S. could help deter such an event by showing that it has the capabilities to win in a conflict.

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